Burn After Reading
Burn After Reading is a black comedy directed, produced and written by the Coen brothers in 2008. It stars some major actors such as Brad Pitt, George Clooney, John Malkovich and Francis McDormand. (Adams 40-42) In this film, all of the characters interweave with one another and they don’t necessarily know so. The film begins with John Malkovich as Osbourne Cox being fired from his position as a C.I.A. analyst. He then decides to begin writing his memoirs which eventually end up in the hands of two HardBodies Gym employees Francis McDormand as Linda Litzke and Brad Pitt as Chad. Chad assumes that Cox must be someone of importance and that the information on the disk is top secret. From there, he involves Linda in black mailing him because she is in desperate need for money to pay for the cosmetic surgeries she desires. Along side of that, Cox’s wife is planning on leaving his and taking off with Harry which is something he knows nothing of. Harry who is also married, and having an affair with Cox’s wife, is also meeting random women through an online dating service and eventually hooks up with Linda as well. Linda falls for Harry, especially since he’s told her that he doesn’t think these surgeries that she needs are necessary. This movie is basically a tangled web of lies, paranoia and false information, making it into one of the Coen brothers most baffling films.
One major aspect of this movie is paranoia. What does the movie say about paranoia? Well, that’s a rather difficult answer to come up with considering a lot of this movie doesn’t make sense. Even the ending scene of the movie where Palmer and Gardner Chubb (both C.I.A. agents) are discussing this mess of events that has been going on say that they didn’t learn anything from this. Everyone in the movie seems to believe that someone is someone else leading to the characters to lash out with paranoid violence as if they’re left with no alternative. I think that the movie is...
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